St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador company Beothuk Energy Inc. has awarded contracts through its engineering firm, Maderra Engineering, to Norwegian energy consultancy DNV GL and local seafloor mapping specialists Fugro GeoSurveys, for its St. George’s Bay offshore wind energy project in western Newfoundland.
The St. George’s Bay wind farm project is forecast to have a 180 MW capacity, with benefits for western Newfoundland potentially comparable to those delivered by the faltering offshore oil industry.
“This work program will provide key information for moving forward with the project’s design, providing a foundation for engineering, planning, and development of Canada’s first offshore wind farm,” said Beothuk Energy chairman and CEO Kirby Mercer.
Located about 30 kilometres offshore in Bay St. George, the proposed C$466 million wind farm site will cover an area of 20 square nautical miles, with water depths averaging about 40 metres, and will see 30 turbines on towers mated to gravity based structures, each generating 6 MW at a cost anticipated to be less than 10 cents per kilowatt-hour.
The site is outside of shipping lanes, away from bird migration routes, and near Emera’s Maritime Link transmission line, a $1.6 billion 170-kilometre undersea cable, linking the Muskrat Falls hydroelectric project in Labrador to Newfoundland, and then along to Nova Scotia, which is projected to be online in October 2017.
Beothuk Energy and its consultants will have access to 67 years worth of established data sets relating to seismic, hydrographic, and bathymetric data.
Beothuk plans to eventually build five proposed wind farms, two located in Newfoundland, starting with the one at St. George’s Bay, and Burgeo Banks, and one project each located in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, altogether producing a total of 4,000 MW of energy.
“Offshore Wind in Atlantic Canada is of national significance in the energy mix creating a new sector, reducing the nations carbon footprint, building on synergies with Atlantic Canada’s offshore oil and gas industry and putting many highly skilled displaced workers to work in the fast growing clean energy sector,” said Mercer.
DNV GL will provide constraints analysis, wind resource and energy assessments, cost of modelling using Levelized Cost of Energy (LCOE) and a preliminary wind farm layout.
DNV GL brings decades of experience in feasibility, development, engineering, construction, and operations services in the offshore wind industry, and has participated in the majority of commercial-scale wind farms currently operating globally.
Fugro GeoSurveys will be providing services, including bathymetric/geologic compilation, hydrographic data reprocessing, assessment of stability and seismicity, GIS analyses of seabed morphology, and routing options.
Beothuk has also previously proposed a $4 billion wind farm 20 kilometres from Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, where 120 wind turbines would generate upwards of 1,000 megawatts of energy for sale to New England through a 370-kilometre subsea cable called the Can-Am Link.
The site of the Yarmouth wind farm is in shallow waters, generally no deeper than 30 metres less 20 kilometres out to the site, and are outside of shipping lanes and commercial fishing grounds.
Beothuk has been in conversation with eight groups representing major power utilities and independent energy companies regarding the company’s proposed projects, and has assembled a consortium, which includes Seimens Offshore Wind, Talon Energy Services, Jacob Capital Management, Maderra Engineering and Talon Energy Services.